Director of Classical Dance
Megan Yackovich, is the founder of Ballet Taos, a professional contemporary ballet company and training academy located in beautiful Taos, NM. During her successful career as a professional ballet dancer, which began at the age of seventeen, Megan concentrated on the restaging of classical ballets for professional companies across the United States. It was through this work that she discovered her passion for teaching young, aspiring dancers. Her proven approach combines elements of the Vaganova and Royal Ballet syllabi, emphasizes a strong work ethic, and implements the latest in injury prevention techniques. Her philosophy is to inspire the whole artist through the mastery of classical ballet and artistic refinement, which will ready her students for higher education and professional careers in dance.
After retiring from the stage, she served as the Artistic Director of The Peak Ballet Theatre and The Peak Ballet Theatre II (PBT II) for ten years. During her time in Colorado Springs, she had the privilege of working alongside her mentors, David Taylor, Mark and Sandra Carlson, German Zamuel, the late Milenko Banovich, and Conductors Thomas Wilson and the late Lawrence Leighton Smith. She hosted master classes for her students at PBT II with renowned teachers and choreographers such as, Meelis Pakri, Peter Davison and Robert Sher-Macherndl.
In the classroom, she provides a nurturing environment conducive to the needs of the young artist, while encouraging her dancers to meet the technical and physical demands of classical ballet and contemporary dance. Proper body alignment, strength, flexibility, consistency in “turnout,” and injury prevention are at the forefront of every class, ensuring a lifelong career in dance for her students. Her progressive approach to teaching integrated methods of classical technique continues to produce excellent results.
Her students have enjoyed the success of receiving recognition, acceptance to and scholarships from professional ballet companies, year-round schools and summer intensives worldwide. Most notably, ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School; NYCB’s School of American Ballet; The National Ballet School of Canada; The Harid Conservatory; North Carolina School for the Arts; The Royal Ballet School (upper and lower divisions); Walnut Hill School for the Arts; Nutmeg Conservatory; Boston Ballet School; San Francisco Ballet School; Bolshoi Ballet Academy; Washington Ballet School; The Pacific Northwest Ballet School; The Kirov Academy; Ballet San Jose; and Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. Her students have also received awards, scholarships and top placement at The Denver Ballet Guild, The Esther Geoffrey’s Young Dancers Ballet Scholarship Competition, and Youth America Grand Prix Scholarship Competition.
Her students have achieved professional careers, apprenticeships, and scholarships to university programs with Pennsylvania Ballet; Houston Ballet; Ballet West; City Ballet of San Diego; Ballet San Jose; Colorado Ballet; National Ballet of Canada; Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance; Zikr Dance Ensemble; Cocodaco Dance Project; Cirque de Soleil; University of Arizona; and Butler University.
Director of Contemporary Dance
Carpio Bernal (CJ) was born in British Columbia and spent his formative years in beautiful, artful Taos, New Mexico. Growing up on Taos Pueblo, CJ had his first exposure to music and dance which inspired his passion for composition and movement. He pursued his love of the arts at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, majoring in performing arts and psychology. He focused on several techniques and genres of dance, ranging from modern and contemporary to Suzuki Method Acting and Butoh.
Throughout his artistic journey, CJ has sought to integrate his musical abilities with dance choreography and the essence of the human condition. His unique approach has led to an innovative and prolific body of work. Using the raw physicality of the human form, his work is inspired by bodily impulse, voice, dreams, politics, and everyday human interaction, all of which serve as a collective muse in his intention to create bold and exciting dance.
At present, CJ is the Director of Contemporary Dance at Ballet Taos. He continues to embrace many forms of movement as the foundation for his choreographic work and performance, and to expand his vocabulary as an artist, dancer, and educator. He is grateful to share the importance of dance with the students of Ballet Taos and Northern New Mexico.
Denver Ballet Theatre
Zikr Dance Ensemble
Cocodaco Dance Project
Zikr Dance Ensemble
Batsheva Dance Company
University of Arizona